This week’s Riverdale left everyone watching in shock. As Betty and Jughead are still investigating who has been sending the videotapes, shocking murders turn up, which may or may not be in connection to the Auteur. The two also find out the true nature of their FBI half-sibling. Keep reading to see what happened in the second episode of season 5 of Riverdale, “Chapter Seventy-Eight: The Preppy Murders.”
As Betty and Jughead are sleeping, the phone rings, instantly waking Betty. “Sorry to wake you, Ponytail, but it’s urgent.” Betty is surprised to get a call from Bret at three in the morning but he doesn’t have much time. He tells her he’s come across a bit of privileged information that he thinks she and “Slughead” would be very interested in and that he’s ready to talk — in exchange for a favor. Jughead is now listening as well, surprised too that it’s Bret who called. Bret clarifies that Betty’s friend’s father owns the prison; he needs her to get him transferred to solitary immediately and he’ll spill. They will want to know about this. Betty tells him she’ll talk to Veronica and asks him when visiting hours start.
The following day, Betty and Jughead get to the prison, but the officer tells them that Bret is no longer there. He breaks the news that earlier that morning, he was found dead in his cell with multiple wounds. An ambulance took his body to the morgue (RIP Bret).
Betty and Jughead meet with Dr. Curdle Jr. at the morgue and Betty asks him if he always gets bodies from Hiram’s prison. Indeed he does, but Bret was a curious case, he says. There were multiple stab wounds to his abdomen, but that’s not all. Dr. Curdle Jr. pulls back the sheet; Betty immediately turns away in disgust and horror while Jughead points out that his eyes were gouged out.
“I’m never gonna get that image out of my head,” Betty later recalls to Charles about Bret’s disfigured face. Isn’t weird the Auteur left them a sign that said “God is watching,” and then they find Bret with his eyes cut out? Betty thinks it’s a coincidence. Charles mentions that her instincts are good, and they should trust them. In that case, Jughead notes that they already have a connection. They know that Bret and David crossed paths — Bret was selling him illegal sex videos. Who knows what else. Bret was trying to tell Betty something, reveal a secret. Maybe he had privileged information that David was the Auteur. David suspected Bret was going to rat him out. Charles suggests it could be what ended up getting him killed. The question is, how would David have been able to kill Bret in prison? Charles says with the right connections and the right amount of money, you could easily put a hit on someone in jail with a single phone call. Jughead mentions he was probably just tying up loose ends before he left town, as Bret was loose-lipped. Charles’ agents in the field are looking for David. The moment that he slips up, they all eventually do, they’ll bring him in.
Betty, Jughead, and Charles are back at the cabin, David hanging from the ceiling. Jughead was right. David was tying up loose ends; first Bret, then himself. “So much for answers.” David’s wearing an owl mask and wearing a sign saying “God is watching” around his neck. “Dead men tell no tales.” Sensing something is off, Betty asks if David seemed suicidal to them, and Charles figures he decided suicide was his only way to escape. Betty doesn’t know, it all feels a little too… neat.
Jughead gets a message on his phone and Betty asks him what’s wrong. Nothing’s wrong, he was accepted to the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. It’s no Ivy League and it’s in the Midwest, but it’s one of the greatest creative writing programs in the country. “My boy’s going to college.” Betty is very proud of Jughead, and Alice says this calls for celebration. Not everyone is particularly happy, though, as Jellybean is sad to be losing her brother once again.
That night, Donna calls Betty, waking her and Jughead up. Calling from a phone booth, Donna tells her somebody is killing them. First Bret, then Joan — she thinks she’s next. Her life is at stake, so she’s going into hiding. Betty, not believing her, tells her to give her a break “you narcissistic psycho.” There’s no murder conspiracy against her preppy cabal. They know who killed Bret and now he’s dead, too. Donna asks about Joan, but Betty is sorry, she’s not being drawn to her twisted reindeer games again. Donna tells her that whoever is doing this, it has to be related. “Oh, when you tried to kill my boyfriend with a rock?” Betty tells Donna to never call her again and hangs up.
The following morning, Betty calls a number asking to speak to Joan and the woman says that Joan’s passed away. Betty says she’s a classmate of hers from Stonewall Prep, and the woman asks if it’s Donna. Betty tells her it is Donna, and although she doesn’t mean to upset her further, she asks how it happened. Joan was murdered. She was walking home from school through the woods, and someone came up behind her and hit her in the head with a rock. Betty hangs up after sending her condolences and tells Jughead that Donna may not have been lying. “So, now we have a preppy murderer on the loose?” Betty just hopes that Donna is somewhere safe.
Just as they’re about to leave, Jughead finds another tape on the doorstep. They put the tape in, FP, Alice, and Jellybean watching as well. It’s of their house, outside and inside. They go upstairs and videotape Betty and Jughead sleeping and then go into Jellybean’s room while she sleeps, putting a knife to her face. Jughead turns off the TV, and Alice tells them they’re leaving. FP says to pack a bag, they’re going to check into the Five Seasons.
At the hotel, Betty tells Jughead their parents have calmed down, Jellybean’s asleep, and she is filled with dread. If the Auteur got into the house, that means he’s probably been inside many times before. Given the supposedly privileged information he seems to have about them and their friends, maybe he’s been doing a lot more than just watching. Jughead is catching on to what Betty is saying: who likes to bug phones? And who else would have both the resources and abilities to kill Joan in the outside world and the connections to kill Bret in prison? They have to go back to the house. “Fun times, Cooper.”
Betty is just waiting at the house and Charles comes in. She tells her brother she found his bug on the phone, holding it up — the same kind he gave her to use on the Stonies. He got sloppy, or overconfident. Charles suggests that maybe he wanted to be caught, just waiting for her to catch up to him. Charles has been listening to their phone conversations since Halloween, if not before (only to protect her, he says). Charles admits he killed Joan and Bret. He tried to kill Donna, but she slipped away. He tells Betty that Donna and her friends committed a heinous crime and got away with it. It didn’t sit well with him. But Bret didn’t get away with it, he was in prison. Bret was odious and Jughead agrees.
Jughead tells Charles it took them a second to figure out how he did it, killing Bret in prison, and then it made so much sense. His boyfriend, Chic, killed him. Betty had figured out that’s what Bret was going to tell them, that Charles and Chic were still in deep. “True love knows no boundaries.” Betty is going to guess that Joan and Bret aren’t the only people he’s killed. Charles tells her she’s correct, but how? Charles taught her everything she knows about serial killers, because that’s what he is. “You’re so good at identifying us.” That was her blind spot. He only kills people who deserve it, horrible people who hurt those that he loves. Charles is putting himself in Betty’s hands. Betty takes out a gun and tells Charles he’s going to prison for the rest of his life. He is coming with them and he is going to confess to all of his crimes, including the videotapes. Charles confesses that he’s not the Auteur, but he is. He killed David, made it look like a suicide, and then framed him as the Auteur because they were getting too close. Charles did kill David, but he was a degenerate who helped scumbags like Bret. But he’s not behind the videotapes. Then who is? Now what kind of teacher would Charles be if he just gave them the answer? He’ll figure it out. “I have no doubt.”
Betty tells Jughead their parents are getting their stuff together and then coming home. Betty’s poor mother. First Chic and now Charles. “Two sons, one real and one fake. Both psychos.” Jughead asks Betty how she’s doing. She doesn’t know. Like, of course her brother is a serial killer. What she can’t stop thinking about are the videotapes. It made perfect sense that Charles was the Auteur. He bugged the house. Jughead points out that Charles would have overheard everything he needed to make those recreations. He doesn’t even know who else could have had access to all that information. He thinks it over and realizes who that one other person is.
Jughead and Betty go into Jellybean’s room, Jughead needing to ask her something and wanting her to be honest. He asks her if she’s the one making the videotapes. After a few moments of silence, she confesses it was her.
Jughead and FP get together at La Bonne Nuit, and Jughead tells his father he and Betty found out who’s filming the videotapes. It’s Jellybean. He brings up the first videotape that was sent right after he went to Stonewall. It wasn’t a coincidence. Jughead says the videos had the intended effect, to unsettle them. However, that wasn’t the reason why Jellybean made the videos. She wanted him to stay. “The big brother she had just gotten to know was already leaving to Stonewall and then to college.” Jellybean figured the best way to keep Jughead in town was a mystery. FP asks how she even got the idea to make the videotapes and Jughead mentions the weird kid that Jellybean was hanging out and playing G&G with, Ricky. They started hanging out again and then he introduced her to Blue Velvet Video. After watching some of their weirder videos, she got the idea.
At first, Jughead says it was just the two of them, but they roped in some of their friends — some kids from the El Royale. Once the simple voyeur footage wasn’t making enough of an impact, especially on Jughead, Jellybean decided to up the game. That first recreation was Jughead and Betty. She wanted to get his attention and it worked. Then she moved on to the Jason Blossom recreation and Midge’s murder. She and Ricky just rented the original videos from Blue Velvet. Jellybean and those kids made all the masks, and the props, and the sets. “It’s actually… pretty impressive.”
FP asks if they realized what they were doing. Jughead doesn’t think so. He thinks it was a game to them, like make-believe. So much so that they ended up breaking into Riverdale High to recreate that “Killing Mr. Honey” video after she snuck on to his laptop to read the story he was working on. Jughead tells FP their secret hideout was the Lodge’s cabin in the woods, the murder cabin. David, before he was killed by Charles, gave them permission to shoot the prom massacre video inside the Scarlet Suite. The video inside the house was her and Ricky, too. And she did all this to keep Jughead in Riverdale, at least that’s what she told him. Jughead doesn’t think Jellybean understands the enormity and the darkness of what she did. Once home, Jellybean apologizes to FP and he just hugs her, telling her it’s okay.
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